Erica Anderson, 19, was arrested Tuesday night on a warrant that charged her with second-degree arson, conspiracy to commit second-degree arson, and first-degree reckless endangerment. The charges are in connection with a fire that started last month at a Target store in the Enfield Square Mall on January 27th.
Authorities believe the suspects were attempting to shoplift and started the fire to create a diversion. A witness told police that she saw two young women leave the area where the fire broke out and push a shopping cart into the parking lot without paying. According to the affidavit, Anderson told her boyfriend that she was shopping with friend, Danishia Thomas, who allegedly started the fire using an STP fuel additive.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to one aisle and no injuries have been reported. The fire is believed to have started in the seasonal paper goods aisle of the store.
Shoppers, employees, and neighboring stores had to be evacuated during the fire and many items in Target received smoke damage. The items that could be salvaged were donated to Foodshare, according to the charity group.
Erica Anderson is in custody and appeared in Superior Court in Enfield on Wednesday. The judge set bond at $100,000 and the case has been continued to March 19, 2014. Anderson has no prior convictions but does have a pending case on her record involving shoplifting at Walmart.